The Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 index dropped 1.3% in November, a continuation of its downward trajectory over the last three months and its largest monthly decline since December 2017. The drop can be attributed in part to global events such as continuing tariff skirmishes and political instability in Hong Kong, according to Liv-ex.
About a half-dozen key cocktail trends are forecast to take hold in 2020, says Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Senior Vice President Scott Gingerich. Cocktail trends include more use of alternative milks such as horchata and fermented drinks like kombucha, a greater emphasis on natural rather than added sugars, and the emergence of Middle Eastern ingredients such as Aleppo peppers and za'atar.
Recognizing that the traditional language surrounding wine can put people off with its technicality, some vintners and sommeliers are changing the way they speak about wine. At Lil Deb's Oasis in Hudson, N.Y., wine director Wheeler, who goes by only one name, trains team members to take the institutional-type language from wine discussions and replace it with creative wine poems that are a "universal language that connect people to what they need."
The cocktail menu at London's Waeska Bar at the Mandrake Hotel centers around the medicinal benefits of 14 different plants. The Vetiver is a gin-based cocktail named after the plant it employs, which purportedly offers anti-anxiety properties, while the Devil's Claw incorporates the flowering plant for which it is named, said to offer anti-inflammatory and pain-relief benefits.
As founder and CEO of San Francisco's Champagne bar The Riddler with a new second location in New York City, Jen Pelka works to make the sparkling wine fun and approachable by serving it alongside caviar and potato chips while maintaining a neighborhood-bar vibe. When off-duty, Champagne remains her favorite tipple, naming classic Champagne Pierre Peters Blanc de Blancs as her go-to if stranded on a desert island and a magnum of Krug as her "death row" last drink.
Montanya Distillers in Colorado has released a rum called Valentia that was created, developed, produced and distributed entirely by women, from the distiller to the production team to the bartenders serving at the Valentia launch party. Women of the Vine & Spirits CEO Deborah Brenner credits Montanya with providing the beverage industry with female role models.
Leaders should use December to review their successes and see what they can learn from what went wrong, writes John Maxwell. "My calendar is only the starting point for me -- I look beyond just where and how I spent my time, and I call to mind the people and purpose for which that time was spent," he writes.
A study of internal teams assigned to redesign their organizations found that many participants left rather than stay in their preproject roles, writes ethnographer Ruthanne Huising. These leaders were able to learn, for the first time, how disorganized and dysfunctional their organizations were and that they couldn't effect meaningful change from within.
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